Huskers Win Eight Out of Nine

Only 705 fans saw the Husker baseball team take down the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers on a cold and windy Wednesday afternoon, but Nebraska was satisfied with a 4-1 victory heading into a big weekend series against Cal.

*As is often the case in a mid-week game, the starting lineup was scattered with a number of players who don't usually get a chance to play. Players like Sam Stucky, Austin Darby and Ty Kildow were given a chance to prove themselves.

*Offensively the Huskers struggled, only scoring four runs a day after they plated nine. However, a bright spot was Kale Kiser, who homered for the second consecutive day. The aforementioned Darby added two hits and a RBI.

*While the offense struggled to score runs, the Huskers got quality outings from their pitching staff. Senior Dexter Spitsnogle went three innings and didn't give up any runs. UNK was swinging on the first pitch most of the time, but the defense played pretty well behind him. Spitsnogle was followed by Ryan Hander, (who pitched three scoreless innings and picked up the win) Jeff Stovall, Aaron Bummer and Luke Bublitz. Stovall gave up the only run, while Bummer and Bublitz looked especially sharp, pitching 1-2-3 innings. It should be comforting to the coaching staff that they can depend on a number of different pitchers to piece together a win during non-weekend games. This hasn't always been the case in the past – slugfests are the norm in games like this.

*Defensively Nebraska was solid, committing only one error at a windy Hawks Field. The Husker outfielders had a busy day, with the highlight of the afternoon coming in the 7th inning when Kildow made a running catch while crashing into the center field wall. Freshman Pat Kelly made a couple of nice plays at second base as well.

*Not much was learned from this game: Nebraska stranded a number of base runners, but the pitching staff picked them up. Coach Erstad said after the game that they warned the team going in that it was a "trap game" and said that they were lucky to win it. That may be overstating things a little bit, but he's correct in saying it wasn't a great performance by his team. However, coming into the game with three straight wins and with a four game series against Cal coming up this weekend, avoiding a loss today should be counted as a satisfying victory for the Huskers.

- Josh Harvey -

Josh Hilkemann has worked for Big Red Report since October of 2011. He is currently a senior at UNL and has been featured on the Big Ten Digital Network as a play-by-play announcer for Husker basketball and volleyball.
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